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| Written by Marie Johnson, CMP

Employee Spotlight: Meet our Event Podcast Producer

Last month, M&IW launched its very own branded podcast focused on the meetings and events industry called Events > Forward. It’s increasingly important to be well-informed about current issues facing the meetings and events industry. The M&IW podcast is a longtime dream come true for Jeff Naue, our Special Projects Marketing Lead.

Our listeners were interested in learning more about Jeff, how he got started in podcasting, and what we can expect from him in the future. Here’s what he had to say!

When did you first get interested in podcasts, either listening or the idea to create your own?

After discovering great shows like The Ed Mylett Show and The Science of Success, I realized that podcasts have a unique and effective way of sharing information, knowledge, and experiences. The final product is dense, rich, and full of practical applications to life.

Where did you get the idea to launch a podcast for M&IW?

Every year our company hosts an innovation contest styled off the popular ‘Shark Tank’ show. There is an idea submission process, review selection, and then the final contestants’ audition for the judges comprised of our M&IW executive team. It is a great opportunity for employees to pitch innovative and creative ideas that potentially become a reality within M&IW’s portfolio of services or business strategies.

In my research, I did not find many podcasts dedicated to the meetings and events industry. But, I know podcasts are gaining in popularity. In fact, 155 million people listen to a podcast every week, the most popular age group of listeners is 25-44, and more than 55% of the US population has listened to a podcast.

So, I took a leap of faith, wrote up a business brief, created a demo reel, and received overwhelmingly positive feedback. The next step was to connect with our marketing team to better understand their content marketing strategy and how a podcast could be used to reach a new audience, build trust, and drive business.

Is that how the Events > Forward topic surfaced?

Yes, in response to the impact of the pandemic on live ‘in-person’ events, our organization formed a cross-functional task force called Events > Forward. As we know, it has been a moving target in trying to understand all the implications and evolving changes due to COVID-19. Our Events > Forward team is sharing information with our clients via video calls, team presentations, and a bi-monthly bulletin. And, all of those efforts have received great feedback from our clients.

“That’s awesome M&IW created this task force. We are so happy to partner with a company that sees opportunity in this ever-changing world to keep their customers safe and informed. Thank you for sharing this information!”

Katie, PGT Innovations

So, in building off that momentum, we saw an opportunity to add a podcast to the mix. The Events > Forward podcast series is for event management professionals seeking to grow their knowledge and learn about real-world, practical, and actionable advice on new health and safety developments, what to anticipate, and how to prepare for the return of “live” in-person and hybrid events.

What do you value most about M&IW and why?

My interest in events began when I started working for a small local theatre in Indianapolis as the House Manager. During that time, I assisted in the planning of fundraiser events, cast parties, and private parties. A few years later, I worked for JW Marriott. And for the past five years, I’ve been at M&IW. What I value most is our culture. We have an amazing team who all support one another through all of life’s ups and downs. Even during the most challenging times, like now, our leadership is committed to fostering growth and opportunities for all of us.

For folks that are interested in starting their own podcast, what advice would you give them?

When I decided to start podcasting, I purchased a beginner’s course on Udemy. Another great way to get started would be to find a coach who already has experience in hosting. For me, there are two main components; hosting the show (being the face, finding guests, creating content), and production (editing individual episodes, uploading to your platforms, making sure your content is enjoyable and readily available to your listeners).

What are a few of your top podcast favorites?

As I mentioned earlier, I absolutely love The Ed Mylett Show. Ed is a very successful man, who is full of knowledge, he is kind and genuine, and above all else, I think he wants to see people grow and succeed. These are the same characteristics and attributes I want prevalent in my life. I also really enjoy The Adventure Sports Podcast and The Science of Success.

Last one, when you are not breathing and dreaming podcast, what keeps you busy?

I am a huge advocate for the outdoors and adventure. You can mostly find me outside, either hiking, biking, gardening, or playing with the dogs.

Sign up for our Industry Insights newsletter to learn more, or visit our Resources Page to stream the M&IW Events > Forward Podcast on-demand.